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The Inland Revenue are rumoured to be asking Clients about the nature
of how the contractor company provide services to the Client.
Some Clients may be less than happy about receiving such enquires let alone answering them.
The following is a possible guideline to answering those questions
Note the basis of this enquiry describes the director not the company
The appearance is that of a pre-judgement

Can you please therefore let me have the following information:-
1. Full details of the services provided by John Doe for Client Ltd.
Cannot answer this question, as the contract we have with Contractor Limited,
requires Contractor Limited to provide services,
not any specific employee of Contractor Limited.
From day to day, the employee of Contractor Limited on site may vary,
at Contractor Limited discretion, while maintaining the quality of services provided,
in accordance with contractual obligations.
2. Who decides what work John Doe does each day?
Contractor Limited
3. What instructions are given to John Doe on a daily/weekly basis?
None. He works on the program specifications supplied to Contractor Limited
4. Is John Doe work supervised?
We expect Contractor Limited to have put appropriate review mechanisms in place,
to ensure quality.
All work produced by Contractor Limited is further reviewed and quality controlled by us.
5. To whom does John Doe report?
To Contractor Limited
6. Does John Doe work as part of a team?
He may work as part of a team within Contractor Limited, that is unknown to us.
While on site he will work with the client development team, as and when he needs to,
in order to fulfill his obligations to his employer, and thereby allowing Contractor Limted to fulfill their obligations to us.
7. Is John Doe in charge of any workers? If so, are they employees of Client Ltd?
Unknown. He is not in charge of any workers at Client Ltd.
8. Does John Doe have a job title?
Yes. He is a senior consultant at Contractor Limited
9. Does the work have to be carried out between certain hours? If so, what are those hours?
We do not permit external companies dial up access to our computer systems. As such, external resource must work at our site, during normal working hours. The building is open 7:30am to 6:30pm, Monday to Friday. Out-of-hours working is permitted with prior agreement with Contractor Limited
10. Does John Doe have to work a certain number of hours each day or week? If so, what are the number of hours each day or week.
We have no control over the working hours of John Doe.
That is a matter for him and Contractor Limited
11. What equipment and/or office space does Client Ltd. supply for John Doe?
When John Doe is on site, he will have a desk and a computer.
Office consumables are also provided as an when required.
12. Can you please confirm that Client Ltd do not mind from one day to the next for the duration of the contract who turns up to carry out the work provided that whoever does so is suitably qualified and experienced.
As long as the quality of the work is of sufficient standard, we do not care.
13. How long would Client Ltd give John Doe to provide a substitute before Client Ltd would terminate the contract?
It is not within the power of John Doe to provide a substitute.
That lies with Contractor Limited

Second example of a letter from the Inland Revenue to a Client Company

I understand that John Doe of Contractor Limited is working under contract for Client plc as project manager.
John Doe has given me your name as the person who could provide details of the Terms and Conditions of the engagement.

Can you please therefore let me have the following information:

1. A copy of schedule A as referred to in the Contract.
2. Details of what John Doe's duties involve.
3. The contract states that John Doe is to work a minimum of 8 hours per days for 4 days a week. Who or what dictates the number of hours to be worked each day and which days to be worked each week.
4. Is it likely that John Doe would not complete the task within the period allowed.
5. Is John Doe paid for any days worked in excess of the contracted 4 per week.
6. As John Doe is engaged as Project Manager what duties if any could be performed at Contractor Limited's premises.

With regard to of the written contract clause which states that Client plc has the right to refuse a substitute on any reasonable grounds, can you please let me know the following:
a. Why does client plc consider there is an effective right of substitution.
b. What do Client plc consider to be reasonable grounds for rejecting a substitute.
c. What is the likelihood of John Doe not turning up.
d. What happens when John Doe takes holiday or is sick.
e. How is it practical for John Doe to provide a substitute.

Finally I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible.

Loaded Questions That The Inland Revenue May Ask A Client

  1. Explain fully the duties services undertaken for your company by the worker service company.
  2. Who provides any equipment necessary to perform the duties services, your company or the worker service company?
  3. Is the worker service company expected to work at particular times?
  4. Where are the duties services performed? Who decides this?
  5. Who decides what duties services are to be performed?
  6. Who decides when duties services are to be performed?
  7. Is the worker service company given any instructions/guidance on how to perform his duties these services ?
  8. Is the worker service company employee provided with any training by your company?
  9. How is the worker service company paid e.g. by the hour/day, at a fixed price negotiated before the contract started?
  10. If the worker service company is paid by the hour/day, how do you verify the hours worked? Is there an agreement as to what constitutes a day?

  11. By now you will have realised, from this humourous change that the Inland Revenue bias is no laughing matter.

  12. Does the company provide any expenses or benefits for the worker?
  13. What happens to the work if the worker falls ill?
  14. What happens to the work if the worker needs time off?
  15. Does your company require the worker to have special insurance such as Public Liability?
  16. Is there any period of notice due to the worker and/or from the worker?
  17. When did the worker's contract with you first start?

    1. In a British Court of Law the use of leading questions ("Did you arrive at 10:00am?" rather than "What time did you arrive?")
      are not allowed to establish fact.
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